By: Kayhan Int’l Staff Writer
Imagine a small African nation emerging as an asylum for the persecuted and displaced Muslims of Myanmar!
Although it is a pleasant surprise to the million-odd uprooted Rohingya Muslims that Gambia in West Africa has offered to taken them as refugees, this is nonetheless a slap on the face of big Bangladesh, which despite being a neighbour sharing many cultural commonalities, has failed to be a good Muslim host.
It is an irony that while the paltry UN aid is not being properly channeled to the refugees in Cox Bazaar, a far off Muslim country has suddenly come to the rescue of the victims of the 21st century’s worst genocide.
Contrast this with the behaviour of the superrich Arab country’s such as Saudi Arabia and the UAE, whose regimes instead of resolving the problems of brother Muslims, are trying to destroy them on the orders of their masters in Washington, London, and Tel Aviv.
If the destructive war in Yemen which has so far killed over a hundred thousand men, women, and children, is a prime proof of the crimes against humanity of Riyadh and Abu Dhabi, the current seditions in Lebanon and Iraq, are also being fueled by these same two regimes, in the interests of the US and Israel.
So there is surprise to their indifference towards the Muslims of Myanmar to whom they dole out some meager dollars with much publicity without doing anything concrete, while hundreds of billions of petrodollars are syphoned off to Washington in the purchase of obsolete arms and equipment.
Leaving aside these traitors to Islamic unity and the Palestinian cause, Gambia deserves praise for filing it an official complaint against Myanmar with the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague for violations of the United Nations’ 1948 Genocide Convention linked to abuses against its Muslim Rohingya minority.
The complaint consists of a 46-page document listing crimes by Myanmar security forces against the Rohingya, including destruction of communities, rape, and murder.
Gambia’s ICJ complaint against Myanmar signifies an important first step in an international challenge to Myanmar for the crimes that its security forces committed against the Rohingya in late 2017 in northern Rakhine state. It should also be the catalyst for a much wider international impetus toward accountability for those crimes.
The scale and barbarity of those abuses are unquestionable and unpardonable. In September 2018, the United Nations Fact-Finding Mission (FFM) published a 444-page report about human-rights abuses against the Rohingya. The mission’s report concluded that there was evidence of atrocities – including mass killings, gang rapes, and mutilations – warranting criminal prosecution for crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide. The report names top military officials as targets for investigation and prosecution and blames civilian authorities for "spreading false narratives, denying the wrongdoing of the (security forces), blocking independent investigations … and overseeing the destruction of evidence.”
Gambia’s step is in line with its role as the current head of the Organization of Islamic Conference’s ad hoc ministerial committee, which the OIC tasked in June with filing an ICJ complaint against Myanmar.
The Gambian move to take Myanmar to the ICJ for state-backed slaughter of the Rohingya should be an inspiration for other Muslim states to resolve the problems of the persecuted Myanmar Muslims.